10+ Online Side Hustles & Income Ideas: College Student Edition

Being a college student is already hard enough with paying off student loan debt when we graduate, buying textbooks that we don’t even fully use half the time, spending more than we typically should on a meal out for lunch, finding a job to work part-time, and on top of that managing our school work. It’s stressful and finding time to even fit our personal lives into our schedule can be another hassle. As important as it is that we focus on school and get our work done, having side hustles that can provide income without as much work being put into it is a great way to put more into our wallets.

Over the years, after hopping to many different jobs in all kinds of industries from babysitting, to being a camp counselor, working retail, and more, I’ve had my share and have recently discovered fun ways to make money online that are totally legit, may require a little bit of work in the begging before the payout is good, and can also be a fun way to get your mind off of any other work going on in your life. Working on social media and having that as my side income has opened up my mind to the possibility of trying a ton of new fun side hustles which will be discussed throughout this blog post. Even if you’re not a college student and you’d love some extra income flowing in, this post is for you.

If you love any of these tips and have gotten inspiration or want to try to recreate them, leave a comment and let us know on our instagram @glamourandguide!

Disclaimer: Just because some of these have worked for me does not mean they will work for everyone and this is not legal advice to take for anyone looking to try it. These are simply ideas and some that I have tried which I’m sharing with my audience.

1. Brand Deals

Something that has become a lot more common today is working with brands online, getting paid for social media content, or doing any kind of sponsored content in which you post something online or attend an event and it is paid. Although it may take a ton of hard work, consistency, and reaching out to brands yourself before finally getting paid or making enough money to live off of social media, it is so worth it in the end and is such a cool way to make a side income. This is something that a lot of people do on the side for income from their office job and it is like a full time job on its own so it will require hard work, but as mentioned before it’s a great way for income. You can create your own rates and charge what you want for any kind of content.

The cool thing too is that brands are always looking for content creators and influencers to either represent their brand, or send some product for them to make sponsored content. You can charge anything you feel is right towards a brand and this can be for an Instagram story, post, reel, Tiktok video, blog post, and more! Social media has endless possibilities so take advantage of it right now while it’s hot and learn to be comfortable in front of the camera over time if you definitely want the chance to work with brands and do this on the side, or eventually turn it into your full time.

2. Podcast

If you are super passionate about certain topics or maybe you just like to talk and want to share advice, give personal insight and stories, do interviews and more, podcasts are perfect for this. It has also become extremely popular online for a lot of celebrities and social media personalities to start a podcast to be more personal and laid back with their audience. Personally, I love podcasts and think they’re so fun to listen to and there are so many out there so you can for sure find one that is right for you. If you’re afraid that maybe you’re not interesting enough, or that people won’t want to listen to you talk, you’re wrong.

Podcasting is a great way to make side income because you can do it directly from your phone and in your home! Amazon has a ton of cheap microphones that you can connect to your laptop if you want to take it more seriously, or you can do it from your phone with the headphone adaptor and use that as a mic to save money. Anything is possible with how you can start a podcast, the point is to just do it. You can play ads in between your podcast episodes, make it fun with some music, and even get some sponsors to host you or you can talk about a product and a brand that fits in with the theme of your episode.

3. Brand Reviews

There’s tons of brands out there that are always looking for influencers or content creators to try out their products and do reviews either on video, an Instagram post, a video and more. This will definitely take time and work to find a brand that will want you to try out their products and will be willing to send it over. But it’s great because it gives you experience working with a company and the brand also gets an honest review from you. There’s influencer platforms out there where you can sign up for campaigns and get either gifted or paid reviews for products. It’s not too difficult to find these websites or apps, sign up, and start proposing yourself to the companies. Content creation is huge and hot right now in the market, so it’s definitely worth getting into.

4. Ads Manager

There are many there are so many people out there who are running their businesses and social media accounts but don’t have the time or the knowledge to figure out how they can run ads strategically for their businesses. Luckily, there’s people who do know how Facebook ads work and Instagram ads and they can put this together for you, manage them, and track if they’re working well or not for you. This is such an easy way to accumulate at least some sort of income on the side because you can easily look up a YouTube video or a TikTok on how these ads work and really learn the backend. Of course this is going to take a little bit of time because you are going to have to learn how to use them properly especially if you are going to be charging people for you to manage it for them, but once you learn it shouldn’t be too hard to advertise yourself out there and really find your target audience on who you could help.

5. Courses

Everyone has skills, talents, or subjects that they may be super educated and informed on that many other people may want to learn. This can be seriously anything and people are also willing to pay to learn these skills especially if they’re very popular right now. Social media and business related courses have been super popular lately from what I’ve been seeing on Tiktok and while some are charging absurdly high pricing, you can choose your rate at how much you’d like and how much you believe all the knowledge your writing about is worth. There’s a lot of Youtube videos that give you tutorials on where you can make these courses, how much you can charge if you are unsure, making profit, and more!

I’ve seen some influencers and business owners on social media make courses on how they became an Instagram Influencer and turning their content creation into six figure businesses. Even being able to turn gifted collabs into paid ones. People also make courses on blogging, how to start, using Pinterest to drive traffic, and more. There’s such a large amount of ideas you can make courses on and provide this to people which can then lead to passive income over time since you won’t need to do any more work. All you will have to do is put the time into the course to make sure it’s good, then once it’s released you can wait for those looking to learn to purchase!

6. Affiliate Marketing

We all buy products that we love and use every single day. This can be skincare products, haircare, a sweater, pair of shoes, and anything else you can think of. All of these items can be linked for people to have at their convenience. When they purchase using your link, you are able to make a commission off of this! It’s free to do, so simple, and many people do this online and are able to make a great chunk of income. It’s also passive because while you’re sleeping or are in school and work, people can view your links and buy from it. For example, if you love shopping on Amazon, they have an influencer program and also a storefront that you can apply to get verified for, then make commission off the storefront when anyone buys any item from your store.

Many stores and other websites such as Like To Know It do this too where you link items from any outfits you are wearing or something you are showing online. These are dedicated websites like mine right here where I link anything I have in my photo.

7. Digital Printables

I’ve seen so many kinds of YouTube videos were people start Etsy shops just for fun on the side and it ends up accumulating a ton of money for them. I know that this is obviously not the case for everyone but I’ve watched some of these videos in hopes of being able to start my own printable’s in the future or make digital products. It is a lot of work in the beginning because you have to plan out what kind of printables you are going to be making but basically these are products that you can make online or pay someone to make for you who is good in graphic design and you can either make an Etsy shop or your own website where you can sell these for people to buy and print at home and then customize it to them.

I love this idea because you can get really creative with it and there is such a large audience for printables because you can make them for moms, students, people who need more organization, etc. Figure out your niche and what kind of audience you’re going to be making printables for, like I said find a graphic designer or even learn how to make it on your own and then you can set up an Etsy shop and start selling these which will help you make money in your sleep.

8. Resume Revising

If you are really into business and career related things, I would totally recommend doing resume revising it because not only is there’s an industry that people are always going to need assistance in, but you are going to be able to charge your own pricing because this is a personal service, and you will build up experience for yourself in that industry as someone who has helped people with career related things. This is especially great for college students or anyone who is looking to make extra money because all you have to do is advertise yourself, and wait for people to roll in and ask you to help them with little things on the resume whether it’s creating it for them, or fixing it straight from scratch.

The reason why this is always going to be a great industry to have a side hustle in is because of college students or people who are just looking to fix up their resume in general is because 8 times out of 10, people are always going to need help and will probably resort to somebody online to help them with it. You can advertise yourself on websites for freelancers and once you get it going with some customers they can leave a review for you or you can even start off with friends and family to also use that as a way to build up reviews.

9. Mock Interviews Services

If you are somebody who has done a ton of interviews in the past or maybe you are a hiring manager and you do interviews on a daily basis, there is an industry dedicated entirely to mock interview services on basically anything you can think of. This is related once again to the career and business industry because you are always going to get that interview nervousness and this is something that you carry-on in your life as long as you are going to be doing interviews for new jobs.

There are people out there on the Internet who can do practice interviews with you and help you get out of this nervousness so that you can ace your interview. I think it is super cool and also fun because you are helping someone get that job or at least try to and you don’t even need to be a hiring manager to do this. If you’re someone who has done many many interviews in the past and you feel like you have really mastered that part of getting a job, there are people out there still got the jitters and would probably be into doing mock interviews!

10. Social Media Manager

Speaking from personal experience as a social media manager it is definitely a very hard role especially if you have a part-time job or you’re a student and you just want something to build any sort of income on the side. I would still totally recommend being one especially if you have extra time or maybe you just want to manage one client because this is seriously going to help build up your resume and it is something great to talk about in interviews especially if you are looking to work in the social media industry after college or take it full time.

Personally I would recommend doing it only if you have a lot of time. It is so fun to work with people in your dream niche and help them with their digital problems to create solutions for anything people are looking for. All you have to do is figure out what kind of services you will be offering to these people, create a website or an Instagram page, and obviously use your social channels to promote your business because you want this to reach as many people as you can.

Once you have figured out the basics, use freelancers websites, Facebook groups and any social media platforms to try to find clients and don’t be afraid to cold email or cold direct message anyone because you never know. As a social media manager you would have to pick the kind of social platforms you want to monitor and if you feel that you could really help someone grow or solve their problems reach out to them and get on the call and put yourself out there.

11. Digital Custom Art

I found out about this side hustle through TikTok because I would see so many people with iPad pros and they were doing really cool drawings and designs and selling them to their followers. It’s super cool how TikTok reinvented the e-commerce and business industry and if you can get on that app especially if you’re into graphic design and show people the behind the scenes of how you make their art and their work, you are going to seriously kick it off and be able to grow your business. I am no graphic designer but from what I’ve seen online a lot of people use an app called Procreate which is on the iPad Pro and you can basically draw and design anything that you can think of and people can offer custom pictures or logos and designs and you can make a bit of a side income from that.

I would recommend doing some mock up our designs before you do promote yourself and start your business Jess so that you can get in the hang of getting orders from people and doing a dinner requests. This is something that sounds really fine and if I had a good drawing skills I would totally get into this because a lot of people are always going to need logos or maybe they want to surprise their friend with a cute design for their birthday, the pie atlas.

12. Online Monetization via Social Media

If you are an active user on social media and you really enjoy posting content and engaging with your audience, there has been a new way of making money up from your content. This is called monetization and you can make money from videos or anything you are posting online that you made. People can do this from their own blogs where they can run ads and make money from these ads, and if you love Instagram you can make money from working with brands on there or from posting Instagram Reels.

Every app has slowly been rolling out a monetization and bonuses section where you can apply once you reach their requirements and make money from your content. A lot of people use TikTok’s creator fund to make a side income from that if you are getting a really good amount of views and you have a certain amount of followers. Every app is totally different so make sure you read over their requirements and what it takes to get monetized but if you really enjoy creating content online for other people to see this is such a fun and creative way to make that extra money.

Of course, it is going to require a lot of work just like all the other hustles as I mentioned in this blog post but if you are very passionate about it and you really work hard you will notice that you will receive the rewards and the recognition for what you’re putting yet.

13. eBooks

If there is a topic that you are a very educated in or you are very passionate about, you can write a E-book about it! People out there are always going to look up anything that they are unsure about and some people are even willing to buy and read a book about it so they can get more educated. Just as we mentioned before where people will do online courses for topics they want to learn about, people will also buy e-books.

I would totally recommend doing this especially if you know a lot about a topic and you never know what people are willing to purchase online. This can be on learning another language, making money on social media, how to use a laptop, really any topic out there that you are very educated in and think other people out there don’t know as much about it, this is a perfect way for you to stand out and put your all into an e-book. It’s free to do and once again you can make an Etsy shop or promote it on your social platforms for your followers and your audience to see. There are a ton of free resources out there in which you can make an e-book and have it ready to be publicly shared.

14. Blogging

Scrolling through Pinterest, it is almost impossible to not find a pin where somebody is trying to teach you something or guide you to their website. This is a super smart technique that a lot of Pinterest users use. As a blogger you can make a website about anything that you love and write about it. Once you make a website, you can run ads and even get signed up on certain platforms to make money depending on how many views you get every month. This will take time because you want a lot of people to find your website and stay on as long as possible to want to follow along with your writing and your content.

The best part about being a blogger is the freedom and creativity that you get because you can write about anything and really develop a loyal audience who will look forward to your blog posts every week. Once you have your blogging style adjusted, and you get more used to making weekly content, it will get so much easier and you can watch a ton of YouTube videos on how you can grow or try out different methods every month on different ways you can make money. This can range from ads as mentioned earlier or you can do brand reviews for products that people can send you. Sponsored posts are a great way to have income every month and of course it may not be consistent. Some months will be better than others but it is all about the hard work you’re putting in and to try to get yourself out there.

15. Investing

A method that has become a lot more popular recently is investing and the stock market. This is probably by far one of the riskiest ways to make money because you really have to be educated on the stock market and how it works because this is using your own money to try to grow. It’s not impossible to make money from this because so many people on YouTube and TikTok make videos on how they’ve grown so all you have to do is really just sit down. grab a notebook and do the research on where and how you can start.

There’s so many of free resources online as well that you can read and saying you’re out where to begin or even get a mentor to help you figure it out. This is a super smart way to save your money and watch you grow over time especially if you are not looking to use it right away because you will definitely see the outcome as the years go on. Make sure you are using your money wisely and that you know what you are doing before you start putting hundreds or even thousands in.

Thank you so much for reading! 
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Author: Pamela Valdez

Content Writer Intern for She's SINGLE Magazine, Social Media Marketing Intern, and PR Editorial Intern for Access by NKC. Pursuing fashion industry and will be an upcoming undergraduate at FIT.